Discover Your Cancer IQ
by Caitlund Davidson
Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way – a family member, a friend, a colleague or maybe even you. Recent statistics show that 2 in 5 Canadians are expected to develop cancer in their lifetime. Since cancer is part of our lives and our everyday health conversations, it is important that you are aware of your cancer risk and how you can prevent it.
So where can you find reliable information about cancer prevention?
With technology available at our fingertips, it is often difficult to know what health information resources you can trust. My CancerIQ is a free online tool that was developed by Cancer Care Ontario and Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Using My CancerIQ, in less than 10 minutes, you can complete a series of questions to find out your personalized risk for developing breast, cervical, colon, lung, kidney and skin cancers.
The questions asked in each of the My CancerIQ assessments address factors or behaviours that research have shown to be linked to the risk of developing that specific type of cancer. As you work through the assessments, you will learn:
- What factors help to keep your risk of cancer down
- What factors increase your risk of developing cancer
- What you can do to manage or reduce your risk, including links to helpful resources
- Where appropriate, you will learn whether you should be screened for particular types of cancer, such as colon, cervical, and breast cancer. If screening is an option, your final assessment report will also give you links to screening resources in your community
What’s unique about this tool is that it uses Ontario data. When you complete one of the My CancerIQ questionnaires, you get a personalized report that highlights your risk of developing that type of cancer in comparison to Ontarians of the same sex who are 40 years of age and over. More importantly, your report will provide you with information about how you can prevent cancer by making specific lifestyle changes.
While specific cancer rates vary across the province, what all of the cancers included in the My CancerIQ tool have in common is that they have modifiable risk factors that can be affected by lifestyle. This is important since as many as half of all cancers in Ontario can be prevented by eliminating or reducing risk factors. And although My CancerIQ won’t tell you whether you’ll get cancer or not, it can help you focus on specific changes you can make to lower your cancer risk and live a healthier life.
Make your health a priority in 2022. Start the year off with an action plan to lower your cancer risk. Visit My CancerIQ at www.mycanceriq.ca to get a personalized assessment and learn more about cancer prevention.